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How to Get High Yield in Cotton

Cotton is one of the most important fiber and cash crops in India. It plays a leading role in the industrial and agricultural economy of the country and it provides the basic raw material to the cotton textile industry. In India, cotton provides direct livelihood to about 6 million farmers and about 40–50 million people are employed in the cotton trade and its processing.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
Cotton Farming
Cotton Farming

Cotton is one of the most important fibers and cash crops in India. It plays a leading role in the industrial and agricultural economy of the country and provides the basic raw material to the cotton textile industry. In India, cotton provides direct livelihood to about 6 million farmers and about 40–50 million people are employed in the cotton trade and its processing.

There are ten major cotton-growing states in the country which are divided into three zones, such as the north zone, central zone, and the south zone. The North Zone includes Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan. The central zone consists of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka comprise the South Zone. Besides these ten states, cotton cultivation has gained momentum in the state of Orissa too. Cotton is also cultivated in small areas of non-traditional states such as Tripura, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

The income of a lot of farmers depends on their cotton yield every year, but due to a lack of knowledge and training, they are unable to get good yield. So, here are some useful tips that will help you to increase your cotton production.

Experts’ tips to improve cotton productivity or yield

Here are a few tips to enhance the yield and productivity in cotton;

Cotton variety selection

Choose a type of cotton that already has a good fiber quality and yield potential and also consider those that are resistant to disease and pests for achieving high yields.

Seed treatment

Cotton seed should be treated with fungicides, insecticides, and nematicides before planting to protect your crop and enhance yields.

Soil testing

Test the soil to know your pH level and nutrient content so you can fertilize your field accordingly and ensure sufficient soil moisture and temperature before planting cotton.

Land preparation

Before the onset of monsoon, the field should be prepared by deep ploughing followed by recurrent harrowing, and organic manure such as FYM (farm yard manure) at the time of land preparation, which helps in improving soil texture, aeration in the soil, nutrient uptake, population of useful microorganisms builds up, and the percentage of organic carbon improves, thus the total health of the soil improves. 

Weed management

In the first sixty days, when the crop canopy has not developed, weed control is of the utmost importance as weeds compete vigorously with the main crop. We can control or manage weeds by hand weeding, harrowing, and also by the use of weedicides.

Proper irrigation and drainage systems

We must irrigate our field at the proper time and as well as have a proper drainage system so that there is not any water logging in our field because it can also delay the maturity of your crop. Cotton is generally flood irrigated although irrigation by furrow method is more effective and water saving and drip irrigation is becoming popular particularly in the hybrids for central and southern zones. Cotton needs to be irrigated at 50-70% depletion of available soil moisture.

Harvest management

Best time to harvest cotton is when the crops are defoliated and most of the bolls open, carry out defoliation as soon as possible to achieve the right balance of cotton yield and quality. Check seed maturity at the upper cotton bolls, defoliate when the seed coats are black.

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